Mozilla Festival 2016

The Digital Maker Collective, University of the Arts London took part in our first Mozilla Festival (MozFest) over the weekend, October 28-30, 2016 at Ravensbourne College, London.

MozFest is the world's leading festival for the open internet movement, a community of influential thinkers from around the world who come together to build, debate, and explore the future of a healthy internet.

Mozfest was the our first external Digital Maker Collective event, following successful earlier in-house events such as Chelsea Jam 2015 (featured in upcoming book ‘The Creative Stance’ launch on 23/11/16) and the Digital Maker Week 2016.

MozFest and the other externally facing activities have provided valuable experience for the Collective in hosting public facing and participatory digital events and will serve us well in our preparations for upcoming Digital Maker Collective collaborations such as the Tate Exchange events next year.

A team of 12 UAL arts staff, students & alumni volunteers came together to plan and deliver 2 events at the Mozilla Festival.

Part meet-up & part mini Jam, members of the collective brought along live projects they are working on and demo & discuss these with participants, whilst also exploring related connections across the collective digital projects, concepts & technologies. 

Session on Day 1 (28/10/16) Science Fair

Mozilla invited the Digital Maker Collective to be one of our 3 designated tables at the Science Fair on the Friday evening. We were unsure what to expect but quickly got to work setting up in the heart of the main space and kicked into action, engaging hundreds of interested visitors throughout the night.

The Collective naturally formed two interconnected camps where visitors could drop-in on digital maker collective experiments such as Virtual Reality (VR) and various digital interactions, sensors, microcomputers, interactive objects and biofeedback devices.

The collective drew lots of interest from visitors who really enjoyed learning about and interacting with the art school perspectives to technologies.  

Virtual Reality (VR) Camp

Gemma La Rocca (BA Spatial Design Chelsea alumni) Kristina Thiele (BA Spatial Design Chelsea student), Jimena Cieza De Leon Del Aguila (BA Spatial Design Chelsea student) and Alejandro Escobar (Camberwell MA Arts Digital student) worked in collaboration exploring VR in the arts, interaction with virtual architecture and interior models using virtual space and the relationship between pen & paper hand drawn elements imported in to virtual space.

Gemma La Rocca (BA Spatial Design Chelsea alumni) and Kristina Thiele (BA Spatial Design Chelsea student) in action.

Jimena Cieza De Leon Del Aguila (BA Spatial Design Chelsea student) in conversation

Alejandro Escobar (Camberwell MA Arts Digital student) working with visitors and exploring the relationship between pen & paper hand drawn elements imported in to virtual space.

Some of the hand drawings being brought into the VR environment by Aljandro

All ages got involved


It was a very busy night for everyone involved but was very worthwhile experience.

The group worked hard to make the event about art school enquiries into VR and the arts rather than just sharing the joys of the VR experience (which is easy but also exciting).

Next steps for the group are to look in more detail in the developing bespoke VR experiences and tools, tips picked up to take forward are, how to manage the heavy flow of engagement VR attracts and to look at bespoke VR development & look at exploring tools such as open source VR A-Painter and Destinations Workshop.

Physical Computing Camp (digital interactions, sensors, microcomputers, interactive objects and biofeedback devices)

A collaborative project being led by Daniel Bandfield (Chelsea FA student) and Rosie Munro Kerr (Wimbledon Alumni & Digital Maker Collective artist in Residence).

Rosie & Daniel demonstrating how otherwise individual art practices can interact with each other using the "Internet of Things". Exploring contactless interaction and dynamic, virtual worlds.

Rosie & Daniel in action image by Paul Clarke from Mozfest team 28-10-16 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Nicola Rae - (Artist & Academic Support at Camberwell, Chelsea & Wimbledon) with the hacking/coding skills of Grzesiek Sedek (Artist/programmer and Technical Specialist Staff Wimbledon): Interactive Arduino oscilloscopes are visualised on OLED screens and respond to participant contact and sound, as well as the alternating electricity current at MozFest.

There were glitched oscillation-inspired texts scrolling on different OLED screens.

The YouTube accessible codes for these Arduino OLED screens were hacked and altered a number of times to activate non-functioning code and initiate glitching. Audience interaction was welcomed as well as discussions about Open Source coding strategies.

Grzesiek Sedek (Artist/programmer & Technical Specialist Staff Wimbledon) shared research into bio feedback device to measure galvanic skin responses.

Session on Day 2 (29/10/16) in the Digital Arts and Culture Space

On the Saturday afternoon at the Mozilla Festival we held a session in the Digital Arts and Culture Space

Again the Collective had to quickly respond to the space and set up the session. It was a different atmosphere and environment to the previous day’s session but again drew lots of interest from visitors who really enjoyed learning about and interacting with the art school perspectives to technologies.   

For this session we were joined by Jennet Thomas (Artist &  BA Wimbledon Fine Art: Print & Time-Based Media Senior Lecturer) & Alejandro Escobar (Camberwell MA Arts Digital student) - who had found each other through the collective revealed the collaborative technical processes behind the experimental video work 'Animal Condensed>Animal Expanded #1' which makes creative uses of the glitches in the process of making a full body 3D scan of a strangely costumed performer. Using more DIY methods- 200 hand held still photographs-(Photogrammetry)  taken around a costumed performer, it produced some curious technical results that further inspired the ideas in the video work – a poetic exploration of a kind of  biotechnoviolation.

Having practicing artists work involved in these events has a huge impact on the look and feel of the sessions, having the students, alumni & practicing artists working together is essential part of the overall experience. Also a big take away, to take forward for future sessions is the inclusion of related no-digital, hand made objects like Jennet's amazing costume, which really made us stand out from the crowd.

We were also joined by Joey Phinn (Camberwell staff & Chelsea Alumni) & Saskia Little (Chelsea Alumni) A glimpse into the mythologies and practices behind Freyron Collective and how its themes tie into larger conceptual frameworks and contemporary artistic practices of today. Includes a small 3D printed model of the studio with Arduino interaction, LEDs and a prerecorded Freyron broadcast. Also with a laptop demonstration of part of their website (WIP) and various 2D imagery/paper representations of our blueprints, writings, etc

We all left totally exhausted but really pleased with what we had all achieved, everyone seemed to leave with some new connections, ideas and inspirations to take forward either in personal practice or with the Collective.

Well done Digital Maker Collective !

Some Tweets from the evening

The Mozilla Festive feature us in the summary of the evening tweet

And we are live! The Science Fair opened the festivities of the weekend

— Mozilla Festival (@mozillafestival) October 28, 2016

Great to get this kind of feedback :)

What a day at #mozfest - from a brilliant DM Lab session with @Drake_Music to lots of inspiring projects by @CCWDigital

— Shipshape Marketing (@ShipshapeMKTG) October 29, 2016

Always nice to hear from members of the maker community 

The set up for the Digital Maker Collective session by @CCWDigital is really something! #mozfest

— Marc Barto (@marc_in_london) October 29, 2016

Girls2Geeks really impressed us with her enthusiasm for digital making and be a great for us to work with in future projects.


— Girls2Geeks (@Girls2Geeks) October 28, 2016

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